Plastic Condition of Form

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The plastic Condition of Form is the fifth of the seven Conditions of Form that each Condition of Life passes through during world evolution. The plastic Condition of Form is a higher metamorphosis of the third, the astral Condition of Form. On the third Condition of Form, the cosmic ("astral", from Greekἀστήρ ástēr "star") forces, characterised by sympathy and antipathy, are at work, through which the "substances" attract or repel each other. In the fourth stage, the physical Condition of Form, the substances or beings become the mirror of their environment, by whose forces they are shaped. In the fifth Condition of Form, the substances and beings are no longer a mere reflection of their environment, but become its physiognomic expression, because they have internalised its forces and thereby made them their own.

„In the third stage, substance no longer needs to relate to substance itself, but the forces emanate from the substance, the substances attract each other, repel each other, and so on. We are dealing with the astral realm. On the fourth level a material appears, shaped by the forces of the environment, which on the third level merely regulated the outer relations and which now work into the inner being of the beings. This is the realm of the physical. A being on this level is a mirror of its environment; the forces of the latter work on its structure. - The further progress consists in the fact that the being not only structures itself in such a way as it is in the sense of the forces in the environment, but that it also gives itself an outer physiognomy which bears the imprint of this environment. If a being of the fourth level represents a mirror of its environment, one of the fifth level expresses this environment physiognomically. This stage is therefore called the physiognomic stage in the secret science.“ (Lit.:GA 89, p. 39)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.